What Is Secondary Insurance?

Secondary insurance refers to a secondary health insurance plan that someone may have in addition to their primary plan. The primary plan is where health claims are submitted first, after which the secondary plan covers the eligible costs that are not covered by the primary plan. This process, called coordination of benefits, is used to avoid duplicate payments. A person’s employer-sponsored plan is always the primary plan; therefore, eligibility requirements are not a concern. While some people may have both primary and secondary health insurance, supplementary insurance, such as vision, dental, or accident coverage, is also sometimes referred to as secondary insurance. Note that individuals cannot choose which plan is primary or secondary, as this is determined by specific rules and regulations.